The Centers for Disease Control reports that sport injuries in kids continue to rise. Is training our youth like professional athletes do, the answer to this growing problem? Celia Kibler of Funfit Family Fitness, a family fitness expert believes it is.
Celia Kibler, Founder of Funfit Family Fitness, headquartered in the DC metro area, believes, “Just as you wouldn’t send a child who can’t swim to a swimming pool, it’s important not to send kids to play a sport that they’re unprepared to play. Make sure that your child has trained properly before sending him off to the playing field.” Kibler, a family and childhood obesity expert, has spent the past 20 years focused on family health and fitness and strongly believes that , “it is crazy to send kids onto a playing field without the proper conditioning.” Just as athletes train, “kids in organized sports need to be better prepared physically,” she told RPRN.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, participation in organized sports is on the rise – nearly 7.5 million high school kids play at least one team sport. High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. It’s also estimated that 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practices and only one-third of parents take the same safety precautions during practices as they would during game time.
Funfit Recommends the following preparation:
Your child should be adequately prepared through a total body conditioning program before practices, as well as before games. This will help ensure that your child has fun safely, reducing the risk of injury and preparing their bodies for the impact of sports.
In addition, your child should drink plenty of fluids and be allowed to rest during practices and games.
When asked by RPRN, why there was not an outcry of preventive measures for reducing sports injuries, Kibler responded, ‘That’s because conditioning children to play a sport like a professional athlete conditions themselves to prepare for a game, is virtually a new concept. No adult athlete plays a sport they are unconditioned to play. Youth should condition their bodies in the same manner, now that equipment exists to do it. Maybe we should reference how an adult athlete prepares to play a game through cross-training and conditioning and that if a child did the same, they would reduce injury through improved stamina, coordination, balance and strength – all problem areas associated with a child’s growth and all benefits gained through the total body conditioning program that we offer.’
An integral part of total body conditioning is Funfit’s state-of-the-art hydraulic Circuit strength and cardio equipment.
THE CIRCUIT is a fun, non-intimidating, non-competitive workout for children and youth ages 5 to 13 which combines safe, professional, hydraulic, strength-training equipment, with cardiovascular stations and exercises in structured, supervised formats. This weight-training equipment is specially designed to allow each child to reach his/her optimum fitness levels quickly and safely.
Classes such as MyYoga and Kung Fu compliment team-sport participation, and will keep youth limber, flexible and better-prepared to bounce back from a rough football tacke.
These claims are substantiated by KidsHealth.org, who states that,”Kids can be particularly susceptible to sports injuries for a variety of reasons. Kids, particularly those younger than 8 years old, are less coordinated and have slower reaction times than adults because they are still growing and developing,” further recommending, “Make sure your kids are matched for sports according to their skill level, size, and physical and emotional maturity.”
Looking at the number of sport injuries for youth, it is well-worth implementating some of the same training techniques taken from the pros, when preparing your kids for the playing field.
BENEFITS TO KIDS:
Prevent and reduce sports injuries
increased performance and endurance
Increase Self- Esteem, Self-Confidence and Self Worth
Safely improves fitness levels without muscle soreness, peer pressure or intimidation
Reduces stress after school
Maintains and improves weight and body mass
Successful with Special Needs
The development of a linked system that improves strength, rotary power, speed, agility, coordination and balance will give our youth the boost needed to win challenges and elevate their game. This combination will ultimately keep them safer as well. “A 30-minute training, 1, 2 or 3 times per week is all that’s needed,” says Kibler.
As always, consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
ABOUT CELIA KIBLER:
Celia Kibler, President of Funfit Inc. and co-creator of the Funfit fitness program for children since 1987. BS from the University of Maryland. Certifications include NESTA/PACE Personal Trainer Certification, Level 3, Radiant Child Yoga Instructor, and IFA Sports Nutritionist. Past faculty member of Montgomery College Challenge Program teaching Health and Fitness to mentally and physically challenged adults. Invited speaker at the International Kids Fitness Association Conference (no longer active), Maryland Recreation and Parks Conference, as well as speaker on Teen Fitness to Prince Georges County Recreation in Maryland. Business member of the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. Celia Kibler has been appointed as a Fitness Advisor for the future National Children’s Museum in Washington DC and as such will further play an important role in promoting fitness for all children.